12 Days Of Hype: Genuine Ferrari F1 Engine Valve Desktop Display Piece

Posted on 12.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Car people love to put cool car stuff on their desks.  Its just a fact of life.  Anyone who loves cars probably has some cool car related thing on their desk at work or maybe hung up on their wall and they are always looking for something even cooler to replace the already cool thing they currently have.  Well this is the cool desk thing to end all cool desk things!  Right now from Ferrari, you can buy an engine valve from a genuine Ferrari F1 engine!  It even comes with a certificate of authenticity and a cool stand to display it with.  The stand will have a plaque that will state the car the valve came from and everything.  This is pretty awesome for just about any car person, specially if they are also an F1 fan!

This desktop piece will set you back $210 plus shipping, which may also be pricy if you want to get this in time for Christmas.  Hit the source link below if you are interested in ordering one.

[Source: store.Ferrari.com]

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12 Days Of Hype: Exotics Racing Is The Only Way To Drive An Exotic Car Like You Stole It…Without Stealing It..

Posted on 12.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In the last “12 Days Of Hype” post I talked about Skip Barber racing school as a great gift for the hardcore motorsports fan in your life.  However, if you want to just gift someone a day on a race track with crazy exotic cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and the like, then Exotics Racing is a good choice as well.  With Facilities at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in California they are within relatively easy reach for anyone on the west coast.  Exotics Racing offers different packages that allow participants to take hot laps in one of up to 15 cars that cover the gamut.  Want to drive a Lamborghini Huracan? They have one.  What about a Ferrari 458 Italia? They have a few of those too.  McLaren MP4-12C? Yessir!  They even have Nissan GT-R’s available.

Since all of their experiences are one day they are much easier on the wallet than say a full racing school such as Skip Barber.  Driving packages at Exotics Racing start at around $199 and go up from there.  If someone just wants to ride shot gun then there are high-speed ride alongs offered for $99.  I have personally checked out the facility at Auto Club Speedway and I can tell you that the staff really goes the distance to make sure participants have a good experience.  If you are trying to think of a good gift then I would recommend considering a day at Exotics Racing.  Hit the source link below for more info.

[Source: ExoticsRacing.com]

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Hype News: Nissan Presents Deadmau5 With Nyan Cat Edition GT-R To Make Up For Ferrari Kerfuffle (UPDATED)

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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For those who follow world famous musician “Deadmau5″ on twitter you’d know that enjoys things with a bit of flair.  This is probably why he wrapped a brand new Ferrari 458 with a full Nyan Cat livery and custom “Purrari” badges for the 2014 Gumball 3000 rally.  He originally did it just for the rally but the “Purrari” got such a positive response from his fans and followers that he kept the wrap on for a while.  However, Ferrari was none-to-pleased with the DJ’s take on their newest sports car and actually sent him a cease and desist letter to return the Ferrari back to stock.  Don’t believe us?  Here is the tweet from the man himself:

The Purrari is officially no more and is back to a regular ol’ boring six figure Italian sports car.  It sucked for Mr. Mau5 and definitely put him in a bad mood.  Today Nissan decided to cheer him up by “presenting” him with an Nyan Cat liveried GT-R complete with a “Deadmau5 edition” badge!  See Nissan’s tweet below:

Score one for Nissan!  Maybe this will teach Ferrari’s legal department to lighten up a bit? …Nahhh.  UPDATE: It looks like this is actually just a playful photoshop done by Nissan which is kind of a bummer.  I think they should totally print up a wrap and make it official!

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Hype Meet: Cars And Coffee Irvine 3-15-14

Posted on 03.19.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Ok this site was starting to get a little dusty so its time to push forward again with some fresh new content.  We are starting off with my return to Cars And Coffee Irvine last weekend.  In all honesty I just visited to get a little extra shooting time in before I headed off to the Formula Drift Tech Day AKA Source Interlink casting call.  However, I lucked out in the fact that it just so happened that Porsche decided to bring a genuine production-spec 918 Spyder to the event!  News of the Spyder’s appearance brought out many of my industry friends and colleagues like Jon Sibal, Bisi of Bisimoto engineering, and even my old friend and mentor Craig Lieberman!  In fact, I ran into so many people that I haven’t seen in a long time that I actually didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted! But I have a healthy bunch of photos below.  Enjoy!

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Hype Video: On Board Lap Of Sepang In A Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO Because Friday

Posted on 02.21.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Ever wonder what its like to take a lap around the legendary Sepang circuit?  What about taking a lap around Sepang in a purpose built go-fasty-fast Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO?  I wonder that too!  Although its unlikely (for me anyway) that such an experience will ever happen.  However, we can at least know what it would look like thanks to Ferrari posting this video on their YouTube channel.  Scroll down and take a ride with driver Paul Van Lohenhout as he hits every apex Sepang has to offer!

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News: Michael Schumacher In Coma After Skiing Accident (VIDEO UPDATE 1-2-14)

Posted on 12.30.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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It really sucks to come back from our little break with bad news but in case any of you F1 fans have not heard yet, 7 time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher is currently in a medically induced coma after hitting his head in a skiing accident while in France.

He was on an unmarked ski slope with his 14 year old son when he lost control and hit his head against a rock.  Michael was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but the impact was still great enough to cause significant damage.  Although it was reported that when ambulance was air lifting Schumacher to the hospital he was awake but dazed.  Upon reaching the hospital doctors felt it was best to medically put Michael into a coma so they could work on stopping any bleeding and/or swelling of his brain.

As of now Michael is in continuous care and his condition has been described as “life threatening” and his future at this point is uncertain.  The full extent of his injuries are still unknown but racing fans all over the world including myself are all hoping that Schumacher comes out of this ordeal OK.

I will try to report any new developments on this as they become available.

Our thoughts are with the Schumacher family as well as Michael’s close friends at this difficult time.

UPDATE 1-2-14: According to a report today from NBC World news Schumacher’s condition has gotten “slightly” better according to the specialists working on him.  He is currently “stable” but still “critical” however there was a “window of opportunity” for surgeons to remove a few major blood clots from Michael’s brain.  He also remains in a medically induced coma while also having his body temperature carefully regulated to help reduce brain swelling.  His team of doctors recently held a news conference in which the situation was explained in a bit more detail.  You can watch the NBC report below.

[Sources: BBC, Chicago Tribune, NBC World News]

[Photo: Reuters]

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Hype Event: Exotics Racing Opens At California Speedway

Posted on 12.16.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Unfortunately, there are many car lovers out there who will probably never get to own amazing cars like the Ferrari 458, the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Porsche 911 turbo, or a Nissan GT-R.  If I had my way everyone in the world would be able to have one of these cars in their driveway, but alas such a thing is not possible (not yet anyway).

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Although there is another way… What if I told you that you could drive six-figure exotic supercars, on a race track no less?  Well thanks to Exotics Racing such a thing is in fact possible.  I know since I got to pay them a visit at something of a soft opening at their new location at Auto Club Speedway (AKA California Speedway).  Exotics Racing is essentially every car nut’s dream come true.  Imagine showing up at a race track with a fleet of top-end super cars parked in front of you.  Then, a professional driving instructor approaches you and walks you to any of the cars you’d like then coaches you through several laps at full tilt?  In a nutshell that is the reality of Exotics Racing.  All you need to do is show up, pick a driving package and then you are off!

Well, there are a few formalities.  After you choose from a range of driving packages that includes everything from laps in any car you want to ride longs, and even drift car ride alongs, you join a group for a short “in class” instruction session in which the teacher (a professional driver) will talk about the fundamentals of how to drive a supercar, how to drive a supercar fast, and how not to crash said super car.

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After the class session the group is split up into smaller groups and taken out in a pair of Porsche Cayennes to take an “introduction lap”.  This is pretty much the equivalent to a “track walk”.  During the introduction lap the instructor will point out all the nuances of the track, covering breaking points, driving line, etc.  All of this is an effort to get the drivers more accustomed to the course.

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From there, you just wait for your name to be called by a driving instructor and you are then escorted to the car of your choice for several laps of awesome!  The really cool part is there are add-ons to help you document your experience the best of which is a video package.  Each car comes equipped with several cameras and track GPS to capture what’s going on outside and inside and it records the entire experience.  For an extra fee drivers can have their videos edited and given to them on DVD or data disc so they can upload their laps to YouTube, Facebook etc.  Trust me, you will want to do this should you pay Exotics Racing a visit.

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Although I’d have to say one of the coolest things I saw in my visit was Tony’s driving experience.  Who’s Tony?  Tony is a great guy who is a huge sports car enthusiast and also happens to be confined to a wheelchair.  Despite being in a wheel chair Tony is a avid driver thanks to the advent of special hand controls that Tony can use for the throttle and brake.  Exotics Racing is as far as I know, the only service of its kind to offer hand controls for participants who use wheelchairs.  And since the hand controls are removable, wheelchair participants still have a healthy choice of supercars to choose from.  Tony chose the black Ferrari F430 Scuderia…an excellent choice if I’d say so myself!

If you are in California or Las Vegas (their two locations) I would highly recommend checking out Exotics Racing for yourself.  Its well worth the price for experience provided!  If you want to try it out for yourself visit ExoticsRacing.com to book a day!

 

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LA Auto Show 2013: Maserati Returns To Los Angeles Gunning For BMW, Mercedes, & Audi

Posted on 11.27.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Maserati has been the closest thing to having Ferrari at the LA Auto Show since, well Ferrari stopped showing up (hopefully they will come back soon!) so for Italian car fans the Maserati booth has been a must-see even though its been a while since they brought anything new; until this year.

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This year not only does Maserati have something new but they also pretty much announced to the world that they are aiming for a slice of the Luxury sedan pie that BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus have been enjoying for years.  So what is this new weapon that they are aiming at “ze Germans”?  Maserati calls it the Ghibli (pronounced Gib-Lee and not Gibby).

The Ghibli is a brand new “full size luxury sedan” from Maserati that will fit in just under the new Quattroporte.  The Ghibli is physically a bit smaller than the Quattroporte but still offers many of the same luxuries.  The Ghibli (which means “desert wind”) is also meant to be more “sporty” than its larger older sibling as well.

It will weigh less and will be powered by a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 built in the same Maranello plant that Ferrari builds their engines in.  There will be three versions of the engine available: two versions of the twin-turbo V6 (the base with 345hp and the “S” with 404hp) and a diesel V6 although no performance numbers have been released on the diesel engine.

Although easily the most impressive number from the Ghibli is its price: $65,000 MSRP.  For the same money that someone could have a BMW 550i, Mercedes E550 4Matic, or an Audi A7 that same person could get an Italian luxury sedan with a twin-turbo Ferrari-built engine.  Now the question is will people actually pick the Italian offering over the Germans?  Time will tell when the Ghibli hits North America.

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Along with the Ghibli Maserati also brought their current Gran Turismo S and the new Quattroporte as if drooling over the Ghibli wasn’t enough.  Although I have to say my favorite thing about the Maserati booth was the “wall of pistons”! Check it all out by clicking on the thumbnails!

 

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SEMA 2013: Liberty Walk Ferrari 458 Italia Is What Happens When Japan And Italy Make Awesome Together

Posted on 11.15.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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It was the talk of the show before the show even started.  As soon as the internet saw the words “Liberty Walk” and “Ferrari 458 Italia” together it just became one big waiting period before they could finally feast their eyes upon the final creation.  Most thought that the car would not be seen before SEMA but that was hardly the case.  Almost two weeks before the big show the Liberty Walk Ferrari was all over the place! And it was rightly so.  I mean how could anyone expect to keep this much awesome contained for very long?

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While other lucky individuals were happily instagramming and facebook-ing this car to their heart’s content, I had to wait my turn at SEMA when visiting the Nitto Tire booth.  Which was totally fine with me!  Even though I have a few pictures here (click the thumbnails for larger versions) I have to say that this car must be looked at up close to fully appreciate.

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The funny part is I cannot completely explain what makes this car so fresh.  The lines of the Liberty Walk wide fenders really do lend themselves nicely to the already sexy lines of the 458.  But, there is something more.  Something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  Perhaps its the idea of the thing.  The audacity, the sheer boldness of someone taking a brand new $250k Italian super car and cutting it up to add a widebody kit is something that is so jarring that it somehow shocks me into admiration.

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Whether you like this aero design or not the principal behind this build is the very personification of what we all wish we could do.  Buy any car we want, and do whatever we want to it because its what we want to do.  It speaks of freedom, brashness, and carpe-ing all the diems we get our hands on.

The name “Liberty Walk” is starting to make a lot of sense now…

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